It was just Friday afternoon, when I was looking at the new releases in the cinemas and saw this picture and remembered that I had really wanted to see it. Serendipity strikes again. Impulsive clod that I all too frequently am, I immediately shot off an e-mail to a wonderful woman of whom I immediately thought upon making my discovery. Two immediate considerations were foremost in my mind: the first, that I really really think that movie-going is a group activity, best with one, and often times, two, or three friends, and somewhat lacking as a solo activity; and second, I was certain that the lady in question would be immediately intrigued by it and enjoy it. I am sure that anyone reading this is already cringing, realizing my grotesque faux pas. Alas, I had, for the second time in an amazingly short period, forgotten Important Lesson for the Newly Single, Number 16: "Fun, pretty, women have a shockingly short shelf life!" and also Important Lesson for the Newly Single, Number 24: "Asking a woman out too close to the event in question will be interpreted as the presumption that she has nothing better to do lined up already, and is just rude." True to form in dire hindsight, I discovered that the lady did indeed already have plans and my invitation had no doubt been ignominiously reduced to its component bits with all the other inconsiderate spam and was no doubt a wisp of electrons coating her recycle bin. For some stupid questions, the only just answer is the sound of the wind. I'm so out of practice at this. One can ask one's wife to the movies at the last minute, as one usually knows where she is and what she has planned, ahead of time, but to paraphrase the great Mel Brooks, I "stink on ice" at this asking-somebody-out thing. Be that as it may, I still contrived to go see this movie alone, this evening. I was not disappointed, even though having nobody with whom to share such an excellent film experience really needled me.
Friends, after seeing this movie, I wanted to get right back in line and see this thing again. It was that excellent. It was better than "Pirates of the Caribbean" better than "Matrix: Revolutions" and better than any sea-faring adventure that I have ever seen. For a Russell Crowe flick, it was better than "Gladiator." It has everything: action, adventure, massive explosions, sword fights, gun fights, thundering cannons, deadly stormy seas, and teeth-clenching gory violence which entirely advances the story and is in no way gratuitous. The story itself is excellent too. It is a tale of adventure, friendship, loyalty, duty, ingenuity, audacity, pride, tragedy, loss, and steel-balled courage. If you have not seen this movie, and you are not a historical detail research freak, then you have no idea what a grueling life it was aboard the tall ships. This movie renders that life in gritty detail, and not a second of celluloid is wasted in boredom. You have not seen a nautical adventure move, ever, if you have not seen this film.
The story takes place during the Napoleonic wars, in 1805, and concerns one English Captain, "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, who has been ordered to sail his ship, the Surprise, to South America and to intercept and capture or destroy a bigger, faster, better armed French ship, the Acheron, before it can make its way around Cape Horn to the Pacific Ocean and prey upon the British shipping interests there. The entire movie is an edge-of-your-seat series of harrowing chase and battle scenes interspersed with excellent sub-plots involving life and its attendant pleasures risks and sorrows aboard a nineteenth century tall ship. The acting was superb. The cinematography was fantastic. Even the soundtrack was wonderful.
At any rate, I must sack out, if I am to be worth anything at work tomorrow. Further weekend chronicles, for those looking for an insomnia remedy or cheap thrills, will follow when I can keep my eyes open. It's been a busy weekend.